House Democrats begin wielding new powers, calling on Nielsen to testify and announcing border visit
House Democrats are wasting no time in using their new powers to investigate abuses under Donald Trump’s racist agenda, including announcing an inspection of the border facility where an eight-year-old boy was held before he died on Christmas Eve, as well as compelling Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to testify before a House committee over her role in anti-immigrant abuses.
Over the weekend, new Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) chair Joaquin Castro and Congress member Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico said they’d be accompanying a number of leading Democrats, including Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and new House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler of New York, to New Mexico to probe the death of Felipe Gómez Alonzo, who arrived in the U.S. seemingly healthy, but then deteriorated in U.S. custody.
“The members—including Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.), Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) and Nadler—will also review DHS’ secondary medical checks for children in detention that were announced after the boy’s death,” Politico reported. “There was no emergency medical technician on duty Christmas Eve when he started to appear nauseous and lethargic, according to DHS officials.”
Trump and members of his administration, including Nielsen, have falsely blamed the parents, Democrats, basically anyone else for these deaths. Nielsen has mostly evaded testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee—she’s appeared only once during her tenure despite overseeing state-sanctioned kidnapping at the border—but that’s changing too, now that Democrats control the House.